PRAYING FOR OPEN DOORS DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON:
I am thankful for all our upcoming Holiday ministries. Our church family is
certainly in high gear and many people have come forward to organize and support
Our Christmas Church dinner promises to be an extremely delightful opportunity
for the church family to enjoy each other and celebrate together the birth of
our Savior. Let us pray that God will richly bless our fellowship during this
special evening! Pray for Al and CC, Scott, Dennis and the Women’s Ministry
Team as they prepare this special evening for us and the guests we invite. Pray
also for David Watts who will be doing the Christmas devotion.
Other church events, such as our Missionary gifts and cards, the Christmas
caroling night, this afternoon’s Christmas service at Atterdag Village, our
Christmas newspaper article, and our Sunday morning Christmas service, are great
opportunities for us to bring the light of the gospel to those who do not know
the Lord. Please pray for Dennis who will be preaching the Christmas message on
I want to encourage you to get together during this month frequently with your
family to pray for these outreach ministries. Please pray for those who are
lost and who may be exposed to the gospel through our ministries. Please pray
for God to lead you as you consider which of your neighbors and friends within
the community to invite to the Christmas worship service.
As I mentioned in last Sunday’s sermon, one verse that is particularly
encouraging to me as I pray for unbelievers is Col 4:2-3. Here Paul asks
the church to pray for him that he would have an open door through which to give
the gospel to those without Christ. An open door in Scripture is a door which
previously was shut and which was opened and kept open by God’s omnipotent power
[See also Acts 14:27; 2 Cor 2:12; Rev 3:8]. Remember also the watchful
prayer in Ps 5:3 – “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my
voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to you and eagerly watch.”
Do you know people in the community who are not yet ready to receive the Lord?
The door of their hearts may presently be shut to the gospel. Let us pray that
God Himself will break down their defenses, distractions, excuses and
resistance. Let us pray that God will move them to receive our church
invitations and then respond to the gospel. Can you not envision the delight we
all would have at their baptisms as they glorify the Lord?
The Christmas present which we should offer to the Lord as a church is our
diligent effort to bring the light to the lost! Let’s do our part and then
trust Him for the powerful results!
GREETING VISITORS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON: Lord
willing, during this Christmas season many new visitors will be attending our
Church. Some will be relatives of our congregation. Others will come to church
in response to our personal invitations and church advertisements.
The Scriptures indicate that when guests come into God’s house it is our job to
greet them with Christian hospitality. The term “hospitality” in
Scripture is a compound word combining the word for love with the term for
stranger – it means love for the stranger.
We are to reach out with Christ’s love for the stranger – toward those with whom
we are not yet well acquainted. [See for example 1 Peter 4:9;
Heb 13:1, 2; Rom 12:13].
Christ’s love actively seeks out those who are strangers to embrace them and
make them feel welcome. During this season, let His love overcome any shyness
on our parts, and let His grace enable us to welcome those who come to church.
He loves these “strangers”; His love abides within us. Let’s apply His love to
them in our warm greetings.
PRAYING FOR THE LORD’S DIRECTION DURING THE NEW YEAR:
God has provided us with much direction for ministry during the Holidays. But
the New Year is just around the corner, and we need to call upon God to direct
our paths. The leadership of our Church presently is looking to the Lord for
His leading. We want to have the Lord’s “agenda” for His own church. Please
pray diligently that God will guide us.
With this in mind, please pray for the Board of Elders and Deacons as they seek
God’s leading. Pray specifically for our December 13th Board
meeting. We need God’s wisdom which He gives to those who ask in faith –
James 1:5. As you pray for our Board and God’s provision for our
leadership, please remember that this will be Dennis’ last meeting with us as
the Chairman of our Board. We need God’s grace, and your prayers!
PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO ARE GRIEVING DURING THE HOLIDAYS:
Throughout this month, let
us remember to pray daily for those
who are carrying sadness in their hearts because they are celebrating the
Christmas season without beloved members of their family who have died. Devote
yourselves to pray for those in affliction of whatever kind during this season.